REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch,’ Episode 16 – “Kamino Lost”

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STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 16 concludes the two-part Season One finale with an episode that’s light on action, yet heavy on emotion. “Kamino Lost” picks up immediately after the end of “Return To Kamino,” as the Empire bombs the cloning facility on Kamino and leaves it to sink underwater. Trapped on the bottom of the Kaminoan Sea, the Batch (Dee Bradley Baker) and Omega (Michelle Ang) attempt to escape before they drown. Complicating matters is the presence of Crosshair, who is still committed to the Empire’s ideals.

A major trope I enjoy in storytelling is a character returning to their home in order to show how much they’ve grown. From Frodo discovering he doesn’t really fit with the Shire lifestyle anymore in Return of the King to Luke Skywalker returning to save Han Solo in Return of the Jedi, this is a great storytelling tool that really pops when used in the right context. Showrunner Jennifer Corbett, who penned “Kamino Lost,” puts a unique spin on the situation with the Batch finding salvation in their old barracks; it turns out that the way to the Havoc Marauder is actually through those barracks. Not only does this provide a solution to the issue of being trapped underwater, it’s also a chance for the Batch to air out their grievances with Crosshair.

Said grievances form the emotional core of the episode, with Crosshair still loyal to the Empire despite the fact that they left him to die. These past two episodes have let Baker display the sheer range of his vocal talents; Crosshair’s dry rasp is a counterpoint to Hunter’s gruff, yet heartfelt tone. The fact that Baker is able to give each member of the Batch their own distinct voice has always been impressive, but he takes it to another level here; you’d swear that it was two different voice actors performing the role of Crosshair and Hunter instead of one. The episode also showcases how fractured the bond between the Batch and Crosshair is; Wrecker says they would have taken him back and Hunter calls him out on his blind fanaticism. Even Tech, who accurately predicts that Crosshair’s nature led him to join the Empire, condemns him.

The most interesting interactions have to be between Crosshair and Omega. She actually ends up saving his life when the cloning facility begins to take on water; this is the exact opposite action he took in “Reunion” when he ordered his troops to open fire on her. She also points out that despite their differing ideologies, Crosshair is still their brother-a simple statement that nonetheless carries a bit of weight. While I’m not sure how Crosshair will factor into future episodes of The Bad Batch, “Kamino Lost” leaves him in an interesting place. He is still devoted to the Empire, but the reverse is clearly in question and could impact his actions going forward.

Director Saul Ruiz keeps the episode moving at a steady pace, both escalating the danger as the city sinks underwater and letting the emotional conflicts play out. In perhaps one of the best sequences in the series, Ruiz crosses between the Empire opening fire on the Kamino facility and the Batch struggling to escape the debris. The scenery slowly slips into darkness as the facility loses power and plunges into the pitch-black sea, only punctuated by the glow of blaster bolts and the smoldering fire. It’s a simple yet effective sequence that shows how the Batch has lost their home and how the Empire’s reign is beginning to take root in the galaxy.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 16 trades action for emotion, leading to a strong conclusion for the first season. Though it was a bumpy ride, I genuinely enjoyed watching the series and am looking forward to Season Two. If you enjoy Star Wars: The Clone Wars or Star Wars in general, I definitely recommend giving this series a look.

Season One of Star Wars: The Bad Batch is currently available to stream on Disney+.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 16 - "Kamino Lost"
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 16 trades action for emotion, leading to a strong conclusion for the first season. Though it was a bumpy ride, I genuinely enjoyed watching the series and am looking forward to +. If you enjoy Star Wars: The Clone Wars or Star Wars in general, I definitely recommend giving this series a look.